If there is a credit crunch in London, which few doubt, it’s not at Cipriani, the Italian restaurant in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair district, where Bellinis — fresh white peach juice and Prosecco — cost more than $20.00 each. A delicious plate of scallops with mushrooms – almost $100.00 but then it’s a main dish not a starter. That’s a relief then. People of course don’t go to Cipriani to eat, but to be seen and to see who they will be seen by – some of those people include Mick Jagger, Sarah Ferguson, David Beckham, and the playboy-Formula One boss Flavio Briatore with his latest “super-model” (and the Rotmans). Cipriani is a recent edition to the empire founded in Venice by the father of the current owner, which started with Harry’s Bar, two steps from San Marco Square, where the Bellini was invented, and where Hemingway used to drink.
The restaurant — euro-trash central — is a great place to sit and watch as paparazzi gather outside and the rich jostle for tables, crowding the entrance as the revolving doors keep spinning emptying people in and out. Once inside the charmed circle, you never want to leave, as if somehow, this is where life is really lived. There is a feel akin to the French revolution — where Marie Antoinette suggested the peasants eat cake.
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Originally published at The Huffington Post on the 30th of April, 2009.